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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hickory City Council Workshop - November 3, 2015


These are projects for the near term horizon in Hickory. They explain the projects and how they will be funded, including the use on Issued Bond Funds proposed to begin in July 2017.

• Lackey Project – parking lot, boat dock, etc.
• Kiwanis Splash Pad
• NC Data Campus/Multi-Jurisdictional Park (Conover)
• Sandy Ridge Road - roundabouts
• Cloninger Mill Park
• City Park – Tennis Courts (Greater Hickory Tennis Association)
• Streetscapes/Zoning Overlay Consultant
• Way Finding/Gateway

• Lackey Family to donate $5 -$7 million for memorial in Geitner Park
• Plans to construct lake house, performance dock, amphitheater, conservatory, canopy walk, gardens, overflow parking lot
• Design of project by Tunnel-Spangler-Walsh (TSW) is underway
• Estimated City cost of $750,000 for driveway, parking lot, restrooms, canoe launch, boat dock, fishing pier
• Operation/Maintenance costs unknown at this point

• City to own and maintain as addition to park operations
• Splash pad management team to finalize design/features
• Park to have “wow factor”, regional draw to visitors
• Estimated project cost of $250,000 - $350,000, depending on design
• Kiwanis clubs raising $100,000 towards project
• City share of $150,000 - $250,000 NC DATA CAMPUS/MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL PARK

• Economic Development Partnership in Conover to attract data campus
• Loan of $2.6 million from NC Dept. of Commerce for 55 acre site development – water, sewer, electrical, stormwater, streets, sidewalks
• Multi-jurisdictional project between Catawba County (57%), Hickory (19%), Conover (18%), Maiden (5%) & Catawba (1%)
• Partner’s share in additional proper ty tax revenues based on investment
• Current year payment of $9,880
• Next year’s payment of $104,806 (difference of $94,926)
• Funded with Water & Sewer revenues

• CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation Air Quality) grant of $3,697,684 received for FY 16/17
• Originally designed to add lanes at both intersections – due to ROW and utility relocation costs, roundabouts were selected
• Roundabouts planned at intersections of Sandy Ridge Rd/29th Ave Ne and 16th St/8th St Dr/ 21st Av NE to relieve traffic congestion
• Estimated project costs of $4,622,105
• City share of $924,421 (20% match)

• City initiated master plan of 79 acres for future park in 2008
• Public meetings held in 2008 & 2009
• Many natural features including Falling Creek, waterfall, wide variety of vegetation, wildlife and ecological habitat
• Amenities proposed include picnicking, walking/bike trails, play areas, disc golf, environmental education, exercise stations
• Total project cost estimates of $2.9 million (2009 dollars)
• Phase I (access from Cloninger Mill Rd) estimated at $1.3 million
• Donation of $900,000 received from Outward Bound, balance of $400,000 – City share
• Staff and Parks/Recreation Commission reviewing revised master plan incorporating additional 10 acre commercial tract

• 10-year Priority Use Agreement with Greater Hickory Tennis Association approved by Council on April 7, 2015– will contribute $125,000
• New picnic shelter/restroom/meeting room facility
• Addition of 250 linear feet of paved access road and 1440 linear feet of 8ft wide paved walkway
• Parking expansion from 20 spaces to 90 spaces (also to assist with additional parking requirements for Lackey Project), with curb/gutter and area lighting, removal of existing picnic shelter/restroom facility
• Additional parking will likely be needed in light of Lackey project expansion
• Estimated cost of $574,000 (balance of $449,000 funded by City)

• Goal is to strengthen site design standards for private development in areas where streetscape improvements are planned.
• Overlay creates a more uniform appearance of private development regardless of underlying zoning requirement
• Coordination on lighting, landscaping, improved signage design and placement, and more efficient ingress/egress with new medians installed in streetscape.
• Staff developing RFQ to hire planning/design firm to develop new regulations for key areas of Hickory.
• Estimated cost of $150,000

• Wayfinding Program installs approximately 100 new signs of varying sizes but similar design installed citywide to direct travelers into Hickory from surrounding highways and guide them to multiple public destinations.
• Original program was developed in 2008. Great recession prevented implementation at that time.
• Gateway signage is now a part of the bond program. Five gateways will be developed at key entry points into Hickory. Gateways are usually eye-catching welcome signage with landscaping and/or
public art designed to encourage motorists to recognize when they have arrived and to entice others to shop and shop, dine.
• Estimated cost of $800,000

• $40 million bond referendum passed in November 2014; seven years to issue debt
• Anticipating 2 or 3 bond issues - $15m/$15m/$10m or $20m/$20m depending on projects selected
• Issue debt in FY 2017-18 (July) – will require ½ year debt payment in 2018
• Tax increase planned in FY 2018-19 (3-4 cents)
• Design funds will need to be advanced from fund balance; may drop below 25% Council goal
• Fund balance amount between 20%-25% = $2.4 million

• Tag Fee – City currently receives $5/vehicle generating $170k annually; FY 15-16 legislation authorizes municipalities to charge up to $30/vehicle – additional revenue of $850k/year
• Parking fees for City amenities – e.g. Convention Center (Event Parking concept)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Carolina Tar Heels #1

Absolute Power rules Chapel Hill

I am going to relate to you some information I have read that was posted on the "Pack Pride" sports website that is dedicated to North Carolina State Wolfpack sports fans. I consider that site to be part of the new media, much in the same manner as the Hickory Hound. It is a forum where people relate ideas and stories of interest. Much of the information gleaned from this site, you will not find in the Old School Media.

The Old School Media's agenda seems to be to control information and filter it to fit into the scheme of the "Powers That Be's" agenda. That agenda, since the beginning of time, has been to maintain their power in the reality of the matrix that they have created. I am sure that floats over most of your heads.

The control of the overarching narrative of "Life's History" is part of the expression, "To the victor goes the spoils." UNC-Chapel Hill is the oldest university in the UNC system. Generations of political figures and professionals have filtered through the place. The identity of the alumni who have graced its halls has become an ideology, "We are better than you." That ideology in turn has formed into a system of religion for many. Pride in their university has gone beyond support and esteem and led to a cult like mentality seen in extreme religious philosophy. To question the stature of UNC-Chapel Hill ("Carolina"), as a university, is to commit a blasphemy not to be tolerated. Those who are critical of "Carolina's" mission are the enemy and must be vanquished. It is the dark side of Camelot.

My personal philosophy, in life, is that you aren't free unless you allow yourself to be free. You aren't controlled unless you allow yourself to be controlled. Most people don't understand the difference. Deal is that you aren't getting out of here alive, so don't take yourself so seriously. You will either be a help or a hindrance to others.

Do you like Good Guys? or Bad Guys? Do you think you are the most important part of this earth? If you do, then you will do anything and everything to obtain your personal wants, desires, and pleasures. If you have some selflessness, and understand that the world is more than just about yourself, then sometimes you are willing to take the backseat and let others shine, realizing that you personally benefit and that the "Ecosystem", the world as a whole, is stronger when more people are stronger, rather than concentrating power in the hands of one entity -- or the very few.

Athletics or Academics?

There is no two ways about it. There has been criminal mischief that has taken place at the University in Chapel Hill, as an example of the modern corruption of the State -- by that I mean the government. Fake Classes, Fake Grades, Fake Degrees, Forgery, Fraud, money changing hands, and no one has been prosecuted to date. For what? Basketball! What a freakin' joke.

UNC-Chapel Hill has now come out and admitted that they have spent over $10 million in Public Relations money related to this scandal. Then there are the legal fees paid by the University and the people surrounding this scandal that I am sure rival that $10 million figure. For what? A cover up of criminality and Basketball!

I've always thought they could have come clean a long time ago. I haven't written about the situation in a while, because I thought that it would surely all get sorted out. The problem with that is that it is too logical and corrupt people survive and thrive on the illogical, subterfuge, and false confidence.

The Powers That Be at UNC-Chapel Hill have fought this athletic fraud for five years, because it is wound so long and so tight, that if it unravels, it could unhinge the foundation that the State of North Carolina was built upon. It isn't an academic scandal. It's an athletic scandal. Athletes didn't go to class, didn't do schoolwork, and weren't tested. How can not participating in academics be an "academic scandal"? Logically it can't be. What it is, is criminal fraud.

The University in Chapel Hill has some graduates that are leaders in their field and do some cutting edge work, but their work is going to be undermined by this scandal. The University in Chapel Hill is already on academic probation related to this athletic scandal. If they don't clean the mess up, then they can lose accreditation. The loss of accreditation will mean the loss of billions of dollars of research money. They've already started feeling the financial repercussions of their win at all costs athletic program. The worst part is that some of these people don't care, because they want to win basketball games by hook or by crook -- apparently heavy on the crook.

The story of a Carolina Tar Heel basketball intern

Below is a warm and fuzzy story related on Pack Pride by a former intern for the beloved Tar Heel basketball program. This is how someone is treated when they decide they would rather not play ball anymore. Maybe you can get one of your children to be an intern for the Tar Heels, wouldn't that be neat? Read how exciting that adventure can be below. I know it made me jealous.

The story of 2pac1331:

I understand what I'm going to relate to you here sounds pretty insane, but bear with me....

I worked for the University of North Carolina Basketball program from 2004 to 2006, three years as a counselor for the summer camp, two years as a Junior Varsity (JV) and head Junior Varsity manager. The group I worked with assisted in preparation for all home JV and Varsity basketball games and sat behind the bench. I grew up believing the “Carolina Way” was real, and that UNC was a school of honor and integrity, but I quickly discovered the exact opposite was true.

What I came to discover was a fear-based environment, with a "god" at the top of the totem pole. That god is Roy Williams and under him are his minions of little generals -- the assistant coaches. There were occasions when we were waiting in the tunnel for JV practice to start and the Varsity team would walk by after their practice and we were told to stand because "Coach Williams was walking by."

The very first night at Granville Towers, while I was working the summer camp in 2004, I knew something wasn't right when the veteran managers were talking while we were hanging out around the swimming pool. Most of us new camp counselors were just star struck by getting to work for the UNC basketball team, but I could tell by their language that not everything was as it seemed to be. They wouldn't come right out and say it, but they said things like, "give it some time." It was an ominous omen for what I ended up being involved in and what has been exposed to the public over the past several years.

One former player, Reyshawn Terry, told me straight to my face that he never did his schoolwork and people wrote his papers for him. The fact that the players were cheating wasn't a secret at UNC, it was common knowledge among the managers and the general student population. It was one of those things that was just laughed off in conversation. But in reality, it was a cultural disease at UNC and it went straight to the top of the administration and above.

Beyond that, Chapel Hill is the most fake, superficial atmosphere you could ever imagine. If any of you watched that recent series, 'Wayward Pines' on Fox Network, it was like that town. The truth was something that you weren't allowed to speak of in Chapel Hill, as I'd soon find out. Truth was called "being negative" or “crazy” by the typical UNC-Chapel Hill student. "Be fake, be happy" was their real mantra. There is only so much of that web of lies a real person can take.

I'm going to be honest with you, towards the end of my 2nd year working for the program and after countless lies and deception, I had a mental breakdown. I don’t want to get into all the gory details, but this wasn't just about Tar Heel basketball, it was about the lie that the whole university had become. It was like a spiritual plague encompassed the whole town. I had major issues with the basketball program, administration, the fraternity ("greek") system, and just the random fake B.S. in general that had systemically infected the town.

I got so POed, that I went around telling people that I was going to "burn the city to the ground" and that the "whole place was corrupt and a lie." Well, needless to say, that was the first time they had me committed. From there my whole life changed drastically. I didn’t even know what mental illness was before this experience.

I ended up making the break from society, breaking away from the matrix, the bubble, whatever you want to call it. I had been a kid with tons of "friends", but that's when I learned that 95% of the people I knew weren't really friends. It was a heartbreaking revelation, but I ended up becoming a better man because of it, lonely hell yeah, but better. My rebellion targeted the arrogance and elitism that the entire school had become.

After I was heavily medicated, “re-educated,” and released from that first commitment, I continued preaching the gospel against "the Carolina way". One day, about a month later, I was overly spirited, and while driving through campus, zoomed passed a slow moving fire truck on Cameron Avenue. I backed my car up in front of the Old Well and preached about the corruption at UNC. The problem with all of this was that it was a couple weeks after the Muslim guy ran over all those people on campus. Needless to say, they freaked out when I passed the fire truck and locked me up again. I hadn't thought about any kind of consequences, because I was locked up at the time the incident with the Muslim guy happened. It was obvious that I wasn't trying to run anyone over, but in their perverted minds, they will use anything and everything against you, once you are at odds with them.

I ended up taking the rest of the semester off, but in order to return to campus for the fall, I was required by UNC to see a psychiatrist and psychologist weekly and accept being heavily medicated. The medication destroyed my personality and made me into a walking zombie. I spent several months trying to figure out what was going on, and why the “leaders” at UNC didn't care about what I was telling them. My family submitted to UNC's absolute will, which was tough. My Mom was adamant I take the medication, but she just didn’t understand what it was doing to me. It felt like me against the world back then. That’s why Tupac Shakur’s (2pac) music was so inspirational and appealing to me. There were no Mary Willingham's or Jay Smith's to turn to. I was completely alone.

I began writing letters to Roy Williams, his staff, and the administration at UNC in the Fall of '06 and that continued into the Spring of '07. The basketball program claimed I was taking out revenge for not being promoted. I was banned from the Dean Dome and told never to contact the basketball program again.

My life spiraled into a deep, dark depression, but I graduated in the Fall of 2007. I was granted special permission to attend graduation, since I was banned from the Dean Dome. It felt so special to actually be allowed to attend my own graduation... Haah... Actually it was devastating to sit there, knowing the dark truth. I listened to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser spew lie after lie about "the Carolina Way" and "Carolina Family".

After graduation, I was enraged about everything that had happened and fired an angry "F You" letter off to Chancellor Moeser and Roy Williams and his entire staff. I told them that, one day, they would pay for what they had done -- with much more colorful language. I was extremely careful not to make any statement that could even be perceived as threatening, because I knew that they would use it against me. Remember though, anger is a sin in Chapel Hell.

Well, that ended up with UNC campus police following me out to the Harris-Teeter off of Airport Road, right down by I-40. They called my cell phone, while I was grocery shopping. I walked out to the parking lot and they put me in the back of their car and questioned me for about an hour. I remember telling him, I live for the day when we don’t need police anymore. He said, “then I won’t have a job.” And I said, “and the world will be a much better place without police.” They ended up letting me go, but followed me back up Airport road towards my apartment. Every time I would switch lanes, they would switch lanes. It was pretty scary. I ended up pulling into Key's Mini Mart (otherwise known as the "Murder Mart" around Chapel Hill) and they pulled up beside me and said, "We have some more questions."

I had quoted a Tupac Shakur song on Facebook, "Grab ya glocks when ya see 2pac, call the cops when ya see 2pac," and they told me that they interpreted this as me wanting to have a quote, "gun war with the police.” I didn't even own a gun. I vehemently denied this and they eventually let me go.

The next day I was called into my psychologist's office and told my behavior was unacceptable -- this is after I had graduated mind you -- and everyone in the basketball office was really "scared and concerned." I told my doctor several times that they just hated me and she denied it. “They care about you, they just want you to get better,” she would say. They called my Dad and he drove over from work. Campus police showed up and handcuffed me right in front of him and escorted me to the hospital -- I didn't resist. I wasn't out of control. It was humiliating. This would be my 3rd stint of being locked up and this was done directly at the hands of UNC Basketball and the Chancellor. The doctors were even befuddled as to why I was in there. Several people told me, you don't need to be here. My Dad has said this several times over the years. I just played the game, kept my head in the Bible and suffered through it. One of the nurses even told me verbatim, “hey man, just play the game and you’ll get out soon.”

The UNC Administrators repeatedly kept referring to the Virginia Tech shooting, which had happened within that past year. "We just don't know what you might do," they would say. I stood my ground numerous times that I had no intentions of using violence and didn't even own a weapon, but they would say, "we have to keep UNC safe."

After I was released in January 2008, I was banned from campus for 2 years and they scheduled a meeting with the Dean of Student Affairs at the time, Melissa Exum, for February 20, 2008. Don't know why I remember that date. I spilled everything to her, but she was a huge "homer", and I was the "psycho" so I had no pull. I greatly regret not taping our meeting, because she literally stated, "So what if basketball players are having their work done for them, what are you going to do about it." They were at the height of their arrogance of cheating and felt unstoppable.

When Eve Carson was murdered on March 5, 2008, I begged my psychologist to ask them to let me attend her memorial service at the Dean Dome, but they told her no and said, "that I might see some people there that would make me upset." These are devils we are talking about here, not people. They have no soul. I was clearly not a threat to anyone.

I moved out of Chapel Hell in June 2008 (hallelujah!!) and started reaching out to the media. I was put in contact with Tom Farrey at ESPN, in the summer of 2008, and we met in downtown Charlotte for dinner and I told him my story. He said he needed direct proof and I didn't have any.

Time went on and I connected with Dana O'Neil at ESPN and we communicated for the last several years as the scandal started to emerge. This is the same Dana O'Neil that wrote the article "This is what you get when you hire Larry Brown" -- UNC Basketball alum Larry Brown.

Dana did approach UNC in 2009, but didn’t give my name and Senior Associate Athletic Director of Communications Steve Kirschner asked her to confirm my initials. When she did confirm that it was me, he told her, “Don’t listen to this guy, he’s a nutjob.” That doesn’t sound like someone who cares about me and wants me “to get better,” as they would often relay to my doctors. And furthermore, it sounds like a HIPPA violation. When I was in UNC Hospitals, I was assured none of my medical information would be shared with UNC. These people are criminals and need to be thrown in prison for their countless crimes.

In the meantime, I have to admit that I had one more breakdown, lost my job, and went through absolute hell to get back on my feet. Damn near took my life and definitely gave up on fighting the UNC machine. At one point I told Dana, there's nothing I can do. They have won, or so I felt at the time.

As time passed and the stuff with the football team came out first and then people started coming forward (McCants, Willingham) and others, I had the courage to pick up the fight again.

I wrote UNC again in early 2012 and was banned from campus for the third time. I was banned on Valentine's Day that time, indefinitely, and to this day. This letter was much more humble in nature, and the captain of UNC police told me, "this was out of his hands, way above him. There are people that just don't want you here. What if they see you at a football game with their children?" I appealed the decision and lost.

Shortly after, I bought the gun. To put all this in perspective, I took $500 cash out of the bank (my Mom’s a banker and I didn’t want her to see that on my account), bought a Mossberg shotgun, hands shaking as I signed the paperwork. I stared at it for months in my bedroom closet, test fired it a couple times at my Grandparent’s old farm, hid it during the move up to DC so my Dad wouldn’t see it, and literally walked to the bar and got drunk one night planning to come back and take my life. By the grace of God I threw the gun down, drove back to NC and gave it away to my brother and decided to keep pushing ahead. That was in the fall of 2012. I guess Huckleberry Roy’s response to that would be, “How does it affect recruiting?” “Can Drake hang out with our team?” Thinking about death every second of every day is not very fun. There were lots of literal tears in those days. I cried in my car a lot.

I moved to Washington, DC to get away and get my life back together for the last few years, really got my career on track and just recently moved back to Raleigh and landed a good job. I met for lunch with Jay Smith who put me in touch with Wainstein's group last July 2014 and I told them my story "off the record." I met with Joseph Jay in a spaceship-like law firm with "$1,500 chairs" in DC. I contacted the entire enforcement staff at the NCAA and all but threatened them to do the right thing. I've written several media people emails. I am poised and ready to strike if need be.

I have a complete rap album ready for release and on stand by, produced by a friend. I will be recording rap videos this fall (on my own budget, don't have lunatics to give me over 100 thousand dollars, nor do I want that). My family and friends don't want me doing this, but still I fight on in secret, and maybe one day I'll take the mask off, but for now, I am just laying low and enjoying the ride -- because I thought I'd have to die before I saw their sins come to light.

I'll be the first to admit my multitude of flaws, mistakes, and regrets, and I'm quick to hit my knees in prayer every day to ask for God’s forgiveness (in my bathroom, not on Facebook), but to have it even implied by anyone that I don't have resolve, I will not take that from anyone on this planet. (This was in response to a poster that questioned my resolve in not sharing this story.)

Any of you out there in fantasyland, the next time you questions a mother f****'s resolve, make sure it's somebody -- and something -- you know.

I have been fighting this machine for the last decade and the decision to not release my story was the media's, not mine (God forbid that someone with mental issues did something other than kill someone).....I’ve had a gun stuck to the back of my head, been locked in a psychiatric unit 4 times, been banned from my alma mater UNC three times, threatened with criminal charges by UNC (communicating threats), compared to the Virginia Tech shooter, I could go on and on.

It was heartbreaking over the years to watch the people I worked with at UNC, who bowed down and played by their perverted rules, get jobs at universities or on NBA teams. I’d give anything to be a director of basketball operations at a school, or work for an NBA squad, well let me correct that, anything but my soul. That belongs to God.

My whole family has suffered tremendously from this experience and pretty much been torn apart. My Mom and I used to be really close, but now we hardly even speak anymore. It’s impossible to have a relationship and a family of my own, knowing that at some point I’ll have to tell a girl the truth. Mental illness ain’t too sexy in this world. Of course, the real truth is that the people at UNC are truly mentally ill and need to be institutionalized. My message to them is, this is not over.

I've damn near lost everything, but I've kept up the fight and it’s all because of the Lord... I don't owe anyone anything and I don't give a s*** whether any of you believe what I have conveyed to you or not, I've done more than my part to expose Carolina's schemes and evil in general, but at some point you have to take some time and regroup and that's what I have been doing.... Trying to get my life back.

The Hound's Epilogue

Think about if this were your child, a relative, or a friend... It should give one pause to think about whether they want someone growing up "the Carolina Way". All those of us, who have a clue, on the outside looking in, have asked is for this mess to get cleaned up. That doesn't mean swept under the rug and continued to carry on.

The clownship that is holding the flagship hostage seems to have shown that they are out to ruin people that don't go along with their program. There is one thing that can't be denied, it is one thing to be considered a rival to the interests of UNC-Chapel Hill as a university. It is far worse to be considered an enemy from within. Ask Mary Willingham, who came forward to detail the scheme that was set in place to maintain athlete eligibility for "at risk" athletes. Think about Rashaad McCants, who was once thought of as a big time hero for being part of the 2005 Championship team and is now painted as a malcontent for showing his transcript and fully exposing the fraudulent grade/eligibility scheme.

Why have so many people come forward anonymously with information that has been proven true? Why did they feel the need to remain anonymous? Are they afraid of the consequences?

Those who have come forward and been critical of what has been exposed about the athletic scandal at UNC-Chapel Hill have been labeled malcontents and treated as traitors. Notice that no one comes forward to prove UNC-CH's innocence. No one has come forward to prove those shining the light on all of this have been lying.

And then we see those who could be prosecuted for criminal charges of fraud, but played within the culturally corrupt system, have been allowed to retire with full benefits paid for by the taxpayers of North Carolina. Deals have been struck with the North Carolina Court system not to prosecute those who undeniably participated in this scheme, as proven by Attorney Kenneth Wainstein's report, which was limited in its investigative scope by UNC-Chapel Hill's administration. In a world where UNC-Chapel Hill doesn't have a stranglehold on the government and university system, there would have already been a full and independent investigation into every department of that university, after all that has come to light.

Just another example that I have seen of corruption being rewarded in a world that has lost its way. It sure appears that things will get a lot worse, before they will get any better. Thank You to 2Pac1331 for coming forward. They don't call 'em the Heels for 'nuthin.

Midnight has struck for the UNC Board of Governors - January 29, 2014

UNC Chapel Hill Criminal Fraud exposed in Athletics and Academics - January 16, 2014

Where are the UNC Board of Governors? -- 3 years later - PJ Hairston's 2013 Yukon: renter identified - July 1, 2013

My letter to the UNC Board of Governors about the UNC-CH Football Scandal  - July 7, 2011

Where are the UNC Board of Governors? - (Part 2) - Everybody knows "The Carolina Way"  - July 1, 2011

Where are the UNC Board of Governors?!?!? - UNC-Chapel Hill athletic scandal - October 1, 2010

State of North Carolina University System -- We've Got a Problem Here!!!  - September 18, 2010

Hickory City Council Video - November 3, 2015

Invocation by Cliff Moone

This was a short meeting lasting less than 30 minutes. Vickie Scott and Larry Pope spoke in relation to the Housing Authorityissue.

A Micro Enterprise grant program is being established using Community Development Block Grant Funds.